Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, who were charged with the brutal gang-rape in a dorm room at Vanderbilt University, have been found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery. The trial took approximately 12 weeks, but the jury deliberations took just over three hours.
The Vanderbilt gang-rape case gained national attention after charges were brought against four Vanderbilt football players in the horrific rape. The investigation found that the rape victim, who had blacked out from drinking, was brought to a Vanderbilt dorm room by her then boyfriend, Brandon Vandenburg. Once in the dorm room, Vandenburg proceeded to film as he encouraged other football players to rape his girlfriend.
The Daily Mail reports that the jury saw surveillance footage of the rape victim as she was dragged to Vandenburg's dorm room. Once in the room, the video does not stop as Vandenburg took his own video of the assault and rape. Inside the room, jurors were told that Vandenburg switched on porn and encouraged Corey Batey and two others to sexually assault the woman with a water bottle and rape her, prosecutors said.
During the trial, the jury was shown graphic cell phone footage that contained parts of the gang-rape. It was also noted that Vandenburg then sent some footage to friends, but later asked everyone to delete the graphic content. Vandenburg also contacted his victim and told her "not to say anything bad about him" following the incident. Prosecutors say this shows that Vandenburg was fully aware of his actions that night. Video surveillance showed that following the attack, the rape victim was thrown into the hall "like a piece of trash."
The trail lasted approximately 12 weeks, but jury deliberation took just over three hours. According to the Daily Mail, Vanderbilt football player Brandon Vandenburg could be seen rolling his eyes and shaking his head as the jury read the guilty verdict.
Vandenburg's lawyer, Albert Perez Jr., held back tears as he explained his client's strange behavior.
"It's very difficult for a person who is young to understand what happened because he asked me, 'What happened?' He didn't understand."It wasn't just Brandon who was shocked by the guilty verdicts, Brandon's father could be heard yelling out in the courtroom as the verdict was read, according to USA Today.
At the end of the trial, the jury found Corey Batey guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of attempted aggravated rape. They found Vandenburg guilty of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count each of attempted aggravated rape, unlawful photography, and tampering with evidence.
The pair face at least 15 years in prison with the possibility of a sentence reaching up to 60 years. Sentencing in the Vanderbilt rape case for Corey Batey and Brandon Vandenburg is scheduled to take place on March 6.
The two remaining defendants in the Vanderbilt gang rape case, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, will be tried at a later date. McKenzie was a very effective witness for the prosecution during the trial.
Speaking about McKenzie, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman said, "As far as the four defendants, he is the least culpable." The prosecution may decide to allow McKenzie to avoid a trial and accept a guilty plea as his role in the rape was said to be limited, and his testimony helped convict Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey.